SOMEONE needs to remind ITV of that old adage: “Start as you mean to go on.”
There they were, on Wednesday night, setting James Corden on fire.
Only to go and undo all that good work moments later by extinguishing him.
So began a star-studded but weird old Brit Awards night, live from the O2 Arena, which immediately took a second bizarre turn when the host leaped to the podium for a selfie with the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
If only he’d have been a little more patient storming the stage and interrupting proceedings.
Katy Perry was waiting in the wings to sing.
But it was one of those missed-opportunities ceremonies, whose most outlandish moment was Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner deliberately dropping a microphone but offering to be invoiced for it.
Rock ‘n’ indeed roll.
David Bowie sent Kate Moss to announce his stance on Scottish independence, though no word on his feelings towards Welsh devolution.
One Direction won a made-up award, “Global Success”, while Harry Styles was in the loo, presumably grabbing a granny.
Cesc Fabregas apologised for Barcelona being infinitely better than Man City.
Jimmy Carr died a worse death than on 10 O’Clock Live.
Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, on ITV2’s build-up show, gave the line of the night, to Keith Lemon: “You’re always here at The Brits. Why?”
Ruddy good question.
Then he went and blew it on the Backstage after-party, telling the great Nile Rodgers: “We’re going to have to cut it short.”
What with there being only 56 minutes of the programme left, and East 17’s Tony Mortimer waiting to sing Stay Another Day to Corden, who clearly didn’t give an Arctic monkey’s on his fifth and final year as host.
He called the audience “gang”, went to an ad break with: “That’s Blockbusters,” disturbingly caressed Critics’ Choice Sam Smith’s cheek, all but groomed One Direction, snogged Nick Grimshaw, again, and swore twice in succession 17 seconds after the 9pm watershed to describe Beyonce’s performance.
Very big and clever of him.
Corden also failed to utilise the additional 15 minutes ITV had encroached into News At Ten’s slot to shut up the night’s big winner mid-flow, but he was on top fawning form.
“The incredible Katy Perry. The brilliant Lily Allen. The stunningly beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.”
It was almost as excruciating as his fake chummy routine with Bruno Mars (“I love you!” “I love you too, James!”) and Pharrell who he interviewed while wearing the singer’s hat, looking like a boy Scout earning his Unwelcome Tit At the Table badge.
Alcohol was required, naturally. And One Direction’s willing volunteer Liam Payne had downed several by the time they collected Best Video gong: “I want to fangle the thanks on Twitter.”
Well then fangle away, Liam. Everyone who is anyone is here to listen.
Except, that is, David Bowie who, as Noel Gallagher eloquently put it, is too cool for the Brits: “He doesn’t do this s***.”
The question is who will do it next year, as host?
Well, the way Corden verbally pummelled Kylie into admitting she had a new album and tour, it seems a no-brainer.
Cometh the hour, cometh the Dermot O’Leary.
And goneth the me. Bowie, I’m with you.
THIS week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
* TV’s best cop shows Line of Duty and Sky Atlantic’s True Detective.
* Saturday Night Takeaway’s return.
* Winter Olympic ski-cross carnage.
* Sky News’ Richard Suchet employing the Alan Partridge technique interviewing Laura Mvula: “I don’t want to open any old wounds but you were nominated for a Mercury Prize which you didn’t win.”
* And Daybreak’s Kate Garraway after David Bowie won The Brits’ Best Male: “Those 1D boys are celebrating two Brits. But the surprise winner of the night was a golden oldie.”
So Harry Styles got lucky, huh?
THIS week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
* BBC spending £15m rebuilding EastEnders’ set, instead of a fiver demolishing it.
* Bafta host Stephen Fry’s two-hour Hollywood suck-up.
* ITV2 shoe-horning ITV2’s Mark Wright into The Big Reunion and The Brits: Backstage for no clear reason.
* BBC2 wielding the axe over House of Fools. (Don’t do it!)
* Wham-themed B&B comedy Edge of Heaven, the Andrew Ridgeley of sitcoms.
* BBC3 spending an hour failing to answer Is Amanda Knox Guilty?
* And C5 assuming The Big British Immigration Row required Katie Hopkins, Vanessa Feltz, Luisa Zissman, Adam Rickitt, Paula Hamilton and Nancy Dell’Olio who got to the real nub of the issue: “Can you imagine Britain without me?”
TO Sochi now for the half-pipe skiing, with Ed Leigh: “Canada’s Mike Riddle. A 1260, beautiful landing, back to back 12s, 900 to the bow-and-arrow alley-oop 540 flat-spin.
“Oh! He squeezed every ounce of air out of that pipe. If that had been an inflatable mattress, he would have got it in the back of a bubble car.”
Tim Warwood: “I don’t even know what that means.” (Don’t give the game away, Tim. Neither does he.)
Leigh: “If we were talking astrophysics, Mike Riddle would be the equivalent of Stephen Hawking.”
Then don’t, whatever you do, push the poor bugger down the slope.
SEVEN weeks of blind auditions, sob stories, outstayed welcomes and horse loons, and finally a welcome character.
“Colourful supermarket demonstrator” Jane Fraser who wasn’t, to my surprise, opposed to a Morrisons on the village green, wearing a dress dragged backwards through the tiger enclosure at Chessington Zoo.
Sadly she flunked, proving The Voice, albeit improved, is powerless to stop funny wildcards slipping the net.
And now the chairs have stopped spinning. Show’s over. Nothing more to see here.
THIS week’s Best Adaptation of a Jay-Z Lyric award goes to...
Shadow Minister for Welfare Reform Chris Bryant discussing James Turner Street on Benefits Britain: The Debate: “It’s got 99 houses...”
But a working household ain’t one?
FORGET the dullest Bafta Film Awards in memory.
The red carpet was the place to be, even if E! channel’s Dermot O’Leary and Fearne Cotton broke tradition by asking sensible questions.
Sky News’ Richard Suchet revealed: “Tinie Tempah is performing. She’s pretty nervous.”
So nervous, in fact, that he’s lost his gonads and changed sex.
BBC3’s Edith Bowman, meanwhile, indulged a luvvie lock-in, with Oprah Winfrey “picking up the acting instrument” and Leonardo DiCaprio disappearing up his own backside: “In a non-didactic way, the film explores the...” blah, blah, blah, and losing the subtitles writer:
“In a non-die dabbing particular way...”
Ah. Now he makes sense.
BBC4’s Secrets of Bones.
He had a gay fling with Mr Spock?
BACK at The Big British Immigration Row, columnist Sarfraz Manzoor cited Simon Cowell, who has a Polish gran, and India-born Cliff Richard as examples of why we should keep our borders open.
Without whom this country would never have had X Factor or The Millennium Prayer.
Hmm, I’m beginning to see UKIP’s point.
THE One Show’s Matt Baker: “We would love to hear from you if you were born in a very unusual place.”
Well what are you waiting for, people of Wolverhampton?